Please tell me why, whether it is “yes”, “no” or “may be”.
Today is World Day against the Death Penalty.
On 1 October 2008, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty called on all citizens to take action to end executions in Asia. This continent alone represents 60% of the world’s population. 95% of this population lives in a country with the death penalty. According to Amnesty International, 27 countries have already abolished the death penalty in law or in practice while 14 countries continue to carry out executions in worryingconditions. In many cases, trials are unfair, the death penalty is used for a widerange of crimes, including non-violent ones (drug trafficking, embezzlement), andthe lack of transparency characterizes the legal system in many countries.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions,Philip Alston, reminded that “countries that have maintained the death penalty are not prohibited by international law from making that choice, but they have a clear obligation to disclose the details of their application of the penalty”.
In Japan for example, executions of death sentences are carried out in secret. People on deathrow are notified of their executions only a few hours before they take place and their families are not informed.
Some changes are signs of hope for a death penalty-free Asia. Over the last few years, the total numbers of death sentences and executions have decreased in Asia.
Periods of moratorium (i.e. the temporary suspension of executions) are longer and more frequent.
Alongside these improvements, there are more and more organized Asian activists in favor of the abolition of the death penalty.
After it had concentrated its efforts on China on the occasion of the Olympic Games, the World Coalition has selected six particular countries to focus on. T
The WCADP denounced the lack of transparency in Japan, unfair trials in Pakistan, the high number of offences punishable by death in Vietnam. It encourages the introduction of a moratorium in India and Taiwan and calls for abolition in South Korea.
The World Coalition addressed the petitions signed during the World Day to the governments of Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Hundreds of initiatives and actions (debates, press conferences, demonstrationspetitions) will take place in many countries around October 10th to oppose the useo f this inhuman, cruel and degrading punishment.
Asian abolitionists are taking action against death sentences, against executions,in favor of moratoria on executions, in favor of the abolition. It’s time to support them.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty was created in Rome in 2002. It brings together 75 bar associations, trade unions, local governments and non-governmental organizations.
It aims at strengthening the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty and at contributing to put an end to death sentences and executions.
In 2003 the Coalition established the World Day Against the Death Penalty. In 2007, the European Union also chose October 10th for the European Day Against the Death Penalty.
This event is followed all over the world and especially in countries that continue to use the death penalty.
Read the full text of the press statement HERE.